Disbelief gripped the Indian Army ranks in valley after the Indian army man joined the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Mir Idrees, a sepoy with the 12th battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), had gone missing after leaving his home at Safnagari village on Saturday.
However, on Monday, his picture brandishing an AK-47 rifle went viral after it was released on social networking sites. According to the summary inscribed on the picture, he has joined the Hizbul Mujhadeen on Sunday.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar told DNA that his picture has gone viral and they are verifying the available information with his family. “We are verifying it with his family. We have no information about his posting. We will check these details”, he said.
This is not the first time that an army trooper joined the militancy in Kashmir . In July last year, Sepoy Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, of 173 Territorial Army (Engineers), joined Hizbul Mujhadeen, 23 days after he deserted his unit at Gantamulla in North Kashmir’s Baramulla and decamped with an AK-47 rifle and three magazines.
Mir is the third youth who had formally joined militancy in the last one month in the Kashmir valley. On March 28, pictures of an 18-year-old youth from Khanyar Srinagar, brandishing an AK-47 rifle, went viral after it was released on social networking sites.
On March 24, pictures of a 27-year-old Junaid Ashraf Sehrai brandishing an AK-47 rifle went viral after it was released on social networking sites. Wearing a skull cap, Junaid alias Amaar Bhai, was seen with the rifle, indicating that he has joined the Hizbul. It is a usual trait of the militant outfit of announcing the joining of a new cadre.
Junaid is the son of chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, who reportedly joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in Kashmir .
Figures reveal that 126 Kashmiri youth joined militant ranks in the valley in 2017, which is the highest in the last three years. Nearly 280 youth have joined militancy in the last three years. Of these, 66 youth had joined militancy in 2015, 88 in 2016 and 126 in 2017